As the realm of Hip Hop continues to evolve and expand, it is crucial to take a step back and appreciate the influential figures that have helped shape its culture. From its origins in the Bronx, to its global impact today, Hip Hop dance has become a captivating art form that has influenced various genres of dance and music. In this article, we will delve into the top 10 most influential Hip Hop dancers of all time, highlighting their impact on the culture and the reasons why they remain at the forefront of the Hip Hop movement. Join us on this journey as we pay tribute to the pioneers who have paved the way for generations to come.
What is hip hop dance?
Hip hop dance is a cultural movement that started in the United States in the late 1970s. It is a highly energetic form of dance that includes a wide range of styles, including popping, locking, breaking, and krumping. At its core, hip hop dance is a form of expression that originated in African American and Latino communities and has since spread to become a global phenomenon.
Here is a table that breaks down some key elements of hip hop dance:
|Music||The foundation of hip hop dance is the music that it is performed to. This includes hip hop, rap, funk, and breakbeats.|
|Style||Hip hop dance incorporates a wide range of styles that are constantly evolving. These styles include popping, locking, breaking, krumping, and many others.|
|Fashion||Hip hop dance has had a significant influence on fashion. Baggy pants, hoodies, and sneakers are just a few examples of the clothing that is associated with hip hop culture.|
|Culture||Hip hop dance is more than just a style of movement. It is a part of a larger cultural movement that includes music, art, and fashion.|
|Competitions||Hip hop dance competitions have become extremely popular, with events such as World of Dance and Hip Hop International attracting thousands of dancers from around the world.|
|Social Justice||Hip hop dance has also been used as a form of social justice, with dancers using their art to raise awareness of issues such as police brutality and systemic racism.|
|Workout||Hip hop dance is not only a form of artistic expression but also a great workout. Many fitness programs have emerged that incorporate hip hop dance moves to get people moving and grooving.|
Understanding the roots and components of hip hop dance is essential to appreciating the art form and its impact on culture. To learn more about the history and evolution of hip hop dance, check out the History & Evolution of Hip Hop Dance article.
The Top 10 Most Influential Hip Hop Dancers
Hip Hop dance has been one of the most influential and popular styles of dance for the past few decades. It has evolved and progressed over the years, with new dance moves and styles emerging. However, there are some dancers who have left an indelible mark on the history of this genre. These top 10 most influential hip hop dancers have all made significant contributions to the dance world, and have helped to shape the way that we think about and appreciate this art form. From the iconic moves of Michael Jackson to the modern flair of BTS, these dancers have influenced not only hip hop, but the entire dance world. To understand their influence and impact, we must take a closer look at each of them individually. Hip Hop dance is not only about moving to the beat, it’s about making a statement and leaving a legacy.
1. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip hop dancers of all time. He revolutionized the music industry and changed the landscape of dance with his unique style and groundbreaking performances.
Jackson’s signature moves, such as the moonwalk, the robot, and the iconic Thriller dance, have become staples in hip hop dance culture. He was a master of pop and lock style, and his high-energy performances were a sight to behold.
One reason Jackson was so influential in hip hop dance was his ability to fuse various styles together to create a completely new and unforgettable performance. He seamlessly wove elements of jazz, funk, and soul into his choreography, creating a style that was uniquely his own.
Jackson’s influence extended beyond the realm of dance. He was a cultural icon and an inspiration to many people around the world. Jackson’s music and performances spoke to issues of social justice and self-expression, and his impact on fashion and popular culture cannot be overstated.
Michael Jackson’s impact on hip hop dance and culture is immeasurable. He changed the game with his unique style, signature moves, and unforgettable performances. His influence can still be felt today, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.
Want to learn some hip hop dance moves of your own? Check out this guide for beginners: 5 Hip Hop Dance Moves for Beginners.
2. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were one of the earliest hip hop groups and pioneers in the genre. They gained popularity in the 1980s and their influence can still be seen in hip hop today.
The group consisted of Grandmaster Flash as the DJ, and five MCs: Melle Mel, Scorpio, Cowboy, Kid Creole, and Rahiem. They are best known for their hits “The Message” and “White Lines (Don’t Do It).” “The Message” is often credited as being one of the first socially conscious hip hop songs that addressed issues like poverty and police brutality.
What set Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five apart was their innovative use of turntables. Grandmaster Flash, born Joseph Saddler, was known for his “quick mix theory,” which involved using two turntables to create complex and seamless transitions between songs. He also popularized the technique of backspinning, in which a DJ quickly rewinds a record to repeat a particular segment.
Grandmaster Flash’s contributions to hip hop led to him being the first DJ and hip hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The Furious Five were also inducted along with him.
Their influence on hip hop extends beyond just their music. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were early advocates for social justice and their lyrics addressed issues like poverty and police brutality. They were also known for their fashion sense, often wearing matching outfits and accessories like fedoras and Kangol hats.
Their contributions to hip hop dance culture can still be seen today in the way DJs and MCs work together and in the importance placed on the DJ’s role in hip hop. Their use of turntables and innovative mixing techniques paved the way for the development of hip hop as a musical genre and laid the foundation for future hip hop artists to build upon.
Their impact on hip hop fashion cannot be overlooked either. Their coordinated outfits and stylish accessories helped set the tone for hip hop fashion and still inspire designers today.
It’s clear that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were not only influential in their time but have left a lasting impact on hip hop culture as a whole. Their contributions to hip hop music, dance, fashion, and social justice have earned them a well-deserved place in hip hop history.
Their early advocacy for social justice proved how hip hop can be used as a powerful tool for bringing attention to important issues.
3. The Lockers
The Lockers, a dance group known for their signature “Locking” style, were pioneers in the world of hip hop dance. The group was formed in the early 1970s and consisted of dancers from Los Angeles, California. Their style featured a combination of funky, robotic movements, and exaggerated expressions that quickly became a hit within the hip hop dance community.
Led by the charismatic Don Campbell, The Lockers quickly gained popularity and even appeared on several TV shows, including “Soul Train.” They also performed with music legends like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Their influence can still be seen in the work of contemporary hip hop dance groups like the Jabbawockeez.
The Lockers were not only innovative in their dance style but also in their fashion choices. They often wore suspenders, bow ties, and colorful hats, which helped to define the early hip hop fashion scene. Their unique style was an inspiration to many other hip hop dancers and had a significant influence on hip hop fashion.
In addition to their fashion impact, The Lockers also helped to break down gender barriers within hip hop dance culture. The group included both male and female dancers, which was uncommon at the time. This challenged the traditional gender roles within dance, and their success paved the way for more female hip hop dancers to gain recognition in the industry.
The Lockers were a groundbreaking dance group that not only changed the world of hip hop dance but also had a significant impact on fashion and the way gender is perceived within the dance culture.
Run-DMC is a legendary hip hop group that formed in the early 1980s. The members of the group, Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, revolutionized the genre of hip hop with their unique sound and style. They were one of the first hip hop groups to gain mainstream success, with hits like “It’s Tricky” and “Walk This Way.”
Not only were they influential in the music industry, but they also had a significant impact on hip hop dance culture. They were known for their fashion sense, often sporting Adidas tracksuits and sneakers, which became a signature style in the hip hop community. Their fashion influence can still be seen today, with many hip hop dancers and enthusiasts sporting similar styles.
In addition to their fashion influence, Run-DMC’s music also had a major impact on hip hop dance competitions. Their energetic beats and catchy lyrics inspired many dancers to create new moves and styles, incorporating their music into their routines.
The connection between music and hip hop dance can be seen in the way Run-DMC’s music influenced the dance culture. Their rhythms and beats inspired many dancers to create new moves that became a part of the hip hop dance canon.
Run-DMC’s influence on hip hop dance culture cannot be overstated. Their unique sound, fashion sense, and impact on dance competitions and individual dancers continues to shape the culture today.
5. Afrika Bambaataa
Afrika Bambaataa, also known as the “Godfather of Hip Hop”, played a critical role in the evolution of the genre. He is credited with coining the term “hip-hop” and founding the Universal Zulu Nation, a hip-hop awareness group that aimed to promote peace, love, unity, and having fun. Bambaataa was a pioneer in blending various musical genres, such as funk, electro, and rock, with hip hop beats.
Bambaataa’s unique style of dancing incorporated robotic moves and popping techniques, which are still influential in hip hop choreography today. He was known for his colorful outfits, which often included military-themed attire and African-inspired accessories. Bambaataa’s fashion choices were as innovative as his music and dance, and they inspired a new trend in hip hop dance fashion.
In addition to his contributions to hip hop music and dance, Bambaataa was a promoter of social justice and empowerment. Through his work with the Universal Zulu Nation, he sought to elevate the voices of marginalized communities, such as African Americans and Latinos, and promote positive change in their lives.
Bambaataa’s influence on the hip hop culture and dance scene has been immense. He is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of hip hop, and his legacy lives on today through the many artists and dancers he has inspired. Bambaataa’s impact on hip hop music, dance, and fashion will always be remembered and celebrated.
Hip hop dance fashion was greatly influenced by Bambaataa’s unique style, while his commitment to social justice and empowerment continues to inspire many in the hip hop community.
6. The Rock Steady Crew
The Rock Steady Crew is a b-boy crew founded in 1977 in the Bronx, New York. They are considered one of the most influential b-boy crews of all time, and have won numerous competitions and awards. The crew consists of members from all over the world, and they have performed and competed internationally.
What sets The Rock Steady Crew apart from other b-boy crews is their signature moves and their ability to incorporate other dance styles into their routines. They are known for their innovative footwork, intricate freezes, and their ability to spin on their heads and hands. The crew’s style combines elements of funk, hip hop, and Latin dance, creating a unique and dynamic performance.
The Rock Steady Crew has been featured in several films and television shows, including the movie “Wild Style” and the TV show “Sesame Street.” They have also performed with various musical artists, including James Brown, Madonna, and Run-DMC.
The influence of The Rock Steady Crew extends beyond the world of dance. They have inspired generations of b-boys and b-girls around the world, and their impact can be seen in other aspects of hip hop culture. The crew has also been involved in community outreach and education programs, using hip hop as a tool to inspire and empower young people.
The Rock Steady Crew’s contribution to the hip hop dance culture is immeasurable. Their innovative moves and ability to incorporate different dance styles have influenced countless dancers around the world. They have played a significant role in showcasing hip hop as a legitimate art form and an important part of popular culture.
7. MC Hammer
MC Hammer is another influential figure in hip hop dance, having risen to fame in the 1980s and 1990s with his unique style and hit songs like “U Can’t Touch This.” His dance moves, which often incorporated elements of funk and soul, were characterized by strong arm and leg movements that emphasized rhythm and groove.
One of MC Hammer’s signature moves was the “Hammer Dance,” which involved quick footwork and a lot of bouncing up and down. He also popularized the “Running Man” dance, which had been around since the early days of hip hop but became a mainstream phenomenon thanks to his music videos and live performances.
In addition to his dance skills, MC Hammer was known for his flashy fashion sense and larger-than-life stage presence. His music and dance style appealed to a wide audience, making him one of the most successful hip hop artists of his time.
Despite his commercial success, MC Hammer faced criticism from some hip hop purists who felt that his pop-friendly sound and dance moves were too far removed from the roots of the genre. However, his impact on popular culture and the mainstreaming of hip hop dance cannot be denied.
In fact, MC Hammer’s influence can still be seen today in the popularity of hip hop dance workouts and fitness classes, which incorporate his dance moves and style into high-energy routines. Additionally, his role in bringing hip hop to mainstream audiences paved the way for many other artists and dancers to achieve success in the industry.
MC Hammer’s impact on hip hop dance and culture is undeniable, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of dancers and fans.
8. Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is a legendary hip hop dancer known for her unique style and groundbreaking music videos. She is one of the most successful female artists in the industry and is known for her innovative choreography and powerful performances.
Missy Elliott is not just a phenomenal dancer but also a talented songwriter and producer. She has won numerous awards for her music videos, including the MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video, which she won twice for “Lose Control” and “Work It”. Her music videos have always been an integral part of her career, and she has often incorporated intricate dance routines into them.
Elliott’s dance style is characterized by her signature isolations, intricate footwork, and powerful movements. She often collaborates with other choreographers to create her unique routines, and her performances are always a standout at music awards shows and concerts.
One of her most iconic performances was at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, where she received the Video Vanguard Award. She performed a medley of her popular songs, including “Get Ur Freak On,” “Lose Control,” and “Work It,” and showcased her incredible skill as a dancer and performer.
Missy Elliott’s impact on hip hop dance culture cannot be overstated. She has inspired countless dancers around the world with her innovative choreography and has helped to break down gender stereotypes in the industry. Her influence can be seen in the work of many contemporary dancers and choreographers.
Missy Elliott’s impact on hip hop dance culture is undeniable. She is a true icon in the industry and has left a lasting legacy through her music, choreography, and performances. Her unique style and innovative approach to dance have inspired generations of dancers and will continue to influence the industry for years to come.
Suggested anchor: Learn more about the role of gender in hip hop dance culture.
9. The JabbaWockeeZ
The JabbaWockeeZ is a hip hop dance crew that was formed in 2003 and won the first season of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” in 2008. They are known for their signature white masks and gloves, which create a sense of unity and anonymity among the crew.
The JabbaWockeeZ have since gone on to perform in various high-profile events, including the NBA All-Star Game and the Academy Awards. They have also collaborated with major artists such as Bruno Mars and Jay-Z.
What makes The JabbaWockeeZ so influential is their unique style, which incorporates popping, locking, and breaking with a heavy emphasis on musicality and timing. They have inspired many dancers around the world, and have even launched their own dance school in Las Vegas.
Their impact on the hip hop dance scene can be seen in the numerous competitions and performances that have been inspired by their style. As a result, they continue to be recognized as one of the most important and influential hip hop dance crews of all time.
If you want to learn more about the impact of hip hop dance competitions, check out our article on the impact of hip hop dance competitions. Or, if you’re interested in the connection between music and hip hop dance, read our article on the connection between music and hip hop dance. And if you want to try a hip hop dance workout for yourself, check out our guide to a hip hop dance workout.
When it comes to K-pop and hip hop fusion, BTS is a group that cannot be ignored. The seven-member South Korean boy band has taken the world by storm with their unique dance style, which incorporates hip hop, modern dance, and pop. Their synchronized and high-energy performances have earned them global fame and recognition. Here are some notable achievements of BTS as hip hop dancers:
|2015||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Dance Performance Male Group|
|2016||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Dance Performance Male Group|
|2017||Billboard Music Awards||Top Social Artist|
|2018||Melon Music Awards||Best Dance Performance Male Group|
In addition to their impressive awards and recognitions, BTS has played a significant role in breaking down cultural barriers and promoting diversity through their music and dance. Their performances often incorporate themes of youth, identity, and societal issues, resonating with fans worldwide. With over 40 million album sales and numerous stadium tours, BTS continues to influence and inspire a new generation of dancers and music fans around the world.
Why These Dancers Are So Influential
As we look back over the history of hip hop dance, it’s impossible not to be struck by the incredible legacy left by some of the most influential figures in the genre. From the groundbreaking moves of Michael Jackson to the innovative style of BTS, these dancers have left an indelible mark on the world of music, fashion, and dance. But what is it about these performers that makes them so important to the development of hip hop as we know it today? Let’s take a closer look at each of these incredible dancers and explore the unique qualities that have helped them to become such essential figures in the world of hip hop.
1. Michael Jackson
When it comes to hip hop dancing, Michael Jackson needs no introduction. Often referred to as the “King of Pop,” Jackson revolutionized the music and entertainment industry with his unique style of dance and music. He was one of the first artists to incorporate hip hop dance into his music videos and live performances, which ultimately helped to popularize the genre.
Jackson’s Notable Hip Hop Dance Contributions:
|Moonwalk:||One of Jackson’s most iconic dance moves is the moonwalk. He introduced this move during his performance of “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary special in 1983. The move involves walking backwards while appearing to move forward, which became one of Jackson’s signature moves.|
|Robot dance:||Another popular move introduced by Jackson was the robot dance. He first showcased this move during his performance of “Dancing Machine” with The Jackson 5 on Soul Train in 1973. The move involves stiff, mechanical movements, which became a defining feature of Jackson’s dance style.|
|Pop and Lock:||While not exclusively a hip hop dance move, Jackson incorporated popping and locking into his choreography early on in his career. These moves involve quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to create jerky movements, which became a popular feature of Jackson’s dancing.|
Jackson’s influence on hip hop dance extends far beyond his signature moves. He inspired countless dancers and choreographers to incorporate hip hop dance into their work, paving the way for future artists and dancers to follow in his footsteps. His contributions to hip hop dance and music have cemented his place as one of the most influential figures in both industries.
2. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
When discussing the most influential hip hop dancers of all time, it’s impossible not to mention the legendary Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This group was formed in the South Bronx in the 1970s, during the early days of hip hop culture. They quickly gained a reputation for their innovative DJ techniques and socially conscious lyrics.
One of the most striking things about Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is their ability to tell stories through their music. Their hit song “The Message” is a prime example of this, as it addresses issues such as poverty, drug addiction, and police brutality in a powerful and poignant way. This song marked a turning point in hip hop music, as it showed that the genre could tackle serious social issues and still be commercially successful.
In addition to their lyrical prowess, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five also revolutionized the art of DJing. Grandmaster Flash, in particular, is credited with inventing many of the techniques used by DJs today, such as “scratching” and “backspinning”. These techniques allowed DJs to create new sounds and manipulate existing records in ways that had never been heard before.
To really understand the impact of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, it’s important to look at the context in which they emerged. They were part of a larger movement in the South Bronx to reclaim public spaces and express creativity through art and music. Their message of social justice and self-expression resonated with many young people, particularly those in marginalized communities.
It’s clear that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were trailblazers in the world of hip hop dance and music. Their innovative techniques and socially conscious lyrics paved the way for future artists and helped to shape hip hop culture into what it is today.
3. The Lockers
The Lockers were a group of hip hop dancers formed in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. They were known for their innovative style of moving, which incorporated elements of pantomime and funk. The group consisted of six members: Toni Basil, Don “Campbellock” Campbell, Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones, Fred “Rerun” Berry, Bill “Slim the Robot” Williams, and Greg “Campbellock Jr.” Pope.
One of the most notable members of The Lockers was Toni Basil, who went on to have a successful career as a choreographer and filmmaker. She directed the music video for “Mickey,” one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s.
The Lockers were influential not only because of their unique style of dance, but also because of their role in spreading hip hop culture to a wider audience. They performed on television shows like “Soul Train” and “The Midnight Special,” and toured with artists like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
To showcase their innovative dance moves, The Lockers would sometimes perform in a group called “The Robot and The Lockers.” The Robot was performed by Bill “Slim the Robot” Williams, and was a popular dance move in the 1970s.
The Lockers also inspired other dancers and choreographers, including Michael Jackson. Jackson was a fan of The Lockers and incorporated some of their moves into his own dance style.
The Lockers were a group of innovative hip hop dancers who helped spread hip hop culture to a wider audience. Their unique style and influential performances continue to inspire dancers and choreographers today.
|The Lockers||Style of Dance||Influence||Famous Members|
|The Lockers||Innovative style incorporating pantomime and funk||Helped spread hip hop culture; influenced other dancers and choreographers||Toni Basil, Don “Campbellock” Campbell, Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones, Fred “Rerun” Berry, Bill “Slim the Robot” Williams, Greg “Campbellock Jr.” Pope|
Run-DMC is a hip hop group from Queens, New York that formed in 1981. They are considered one of the most influential and groundbreaking hip hop groups of all time. Their impact on the music industry and hip hop culture is undeniable, and they continue to be an inspiration to many artists today.
Here are some of the reasons why Run-DMC has become one of the top 10 most influential hip hop dancers of all time:
|Innovation||Run-DMC was one of the first hip hop groups to incorporate rock music into their sound. They also popularized the use of the “two turntables and a microphone” setup, which became a staple of hip hop performances.|
|Style||The group’s fashion sense also had a major impact on hip hop culture. They are known for popularizing the Adidas tracksuit, fat gold chains, and fedora hats. Their edgy, urban look became a trademark of the hip hop style.|
|Crossover Appeal||Run-DMC’s music crossed over into the mainstream, reaching fans beyond the traditional hip hop audience. Their collaboration with Aerosmith on the song “Walk This Way” helped bridge the gap between hip hop and rock music, paving the way for future collaborations between the two genres.|
|Social Commentary||Through their lyrics, Run-DMC addressed issues like poverty, racism, and substance abuse, shedding light on the struggles faced by urban communities. Their socially conscious approach to hip hop inspired a generation of artists to use their music as a platform for change.|
Run-DMC’s innovation, style, crossover appeal, and social commentary make them a trailblazing force in the world of hip hop dance. Their influence can be heard in the music of countless artists, and their legacy continues to shape the culture of hip hop today.
5. Afrika Bambaataa
Afrika Bambaataa is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of hip hop culture. His contributions to the music industry and the hip hop dance scene are immeasurable. Here are some of the reasons why he is one of the top 10 most influential hip hop dancers of all time:
- Founder of the Universal Zulu Nation: In the late 1970s, Bambaataa founded the Universal Zulu Nation, a group that aimed to promote and preserve hip hop culture. The group was instrumental in shaping the early hip hop scene in New York City, and it played a significant role in popularizing the four main elements of hip hop: MCing, DJing, graffiti, and breakdancing.
- Pioneered electro-funk music: Bambaataa is credited with helping to popularize the use of electro-funk in hip hop music. He was one of the first producers to incorporate electronic sounds into his music, and his 1982 hit “Planet Rock” is widely regarded as a classic of the genre.
- Innovative dance moves: Bambaataa’s style of dancing was a blend of various influences, including traditional African dance, martial arts, and salsa. He was known for his robotic movements and his ability to glide across the dance floor effortlessly. His innovative style of dance inspired future generations of hip hop dancers.
- Social and political activism: Bambaataa was not just a musician and dancer – he was also a social and political activist. He used his influence to speak out against issues such as racism and poverty, and he worked to promote peace and unity within the hip hop community. His message of social justice and equality continues to resonate with audiences today.
Afrika Bambaataa’s impact on the hip hop world cannot be overstated. He helped shape the early hip hop scene, pioneered new styles of music and dance, and used his influence to promote positive social change. For these reasons and more, he is truly one of the most influential hip hop dancers of all time.
6. The Rock Steady Crew
The Rock Steady Crew is undoubtedly one of the most important groups in the history of hip hop dance. Formed in the Bronx during the late 1970s, the crew played a crucial role in the development and popularization of breakdancing. They quickly gained a reputation for their incredible dance skills and flashy performances, and became one of the most sought-after acts in the hip hop scene.
Here are some of the reasons why The Rock Steady Crew is so influential:
- Innovative style: The Rock Steady Crew was known for their unique, acrobatic style of breakdancing. They were some of the first to incorporate various elements of gymnastics, capoeira, and martial arts into their dance routines, creating something that was truly original and captivating.
- Global influence: The Rock Steady Crew brought breakdancing from the streets of New York to audiences all over the world. They toured extensively throughout the 1980s, performing in countries like Japan, France, and Germany. Their performances inspired countless dancers and helped spread the hip hop culture beyond American borders.
- Longevity: The crew has maintained a presence in the hip hop community for over four decades, a testament to the enduring power of their influence. They continue to perform and inspire new generations of dancers, ensuring that their legacy remains alive and well.
- Cultural impact: The Rock Steady Crew has not only influenced the dance world, but also the wider culture. They have been featured in numerous films and TV shows, and have even collaborated with artists in other disciplines, such as graffiti artists and musicians.
The Rock Steady Crew’s impact on hip hop dance cannot be overstated. They helped transform breakdancing from a local phenomenon into a global phenomenon, and their innovative style and enduring influence continue to inspire dancers to this day.
7. MC Hammer
MC Hammer, born Stanley Kirk Burrell, is a legendary hip hop dancer who rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is best known for his hit songs and iconic dance moves, especially his signature move, the Hammer Dance. MC Hammer’s dance style was a mix of hip hop, pop, and funk, and he was one of the first dancers to incorporate flashy, theatrical elements into his performances.
MC Hammer’s influence on hip hop dance can be seen in his innovative choreography and use of props in his performances. He was known for using everything from giant clocks to oversized pants as part of his dance routine. He was also one of the first hip hop dancers to perform on a global stage, paving the way for other artists to achieve international success.
Let’s take a look at some of MC Hammer’s most notable contributions to hip hop dance in the following table:
|Versatility||MC Hammer’s dance style was a fusion of various genres, such as hip hop, funk, and pop. He combined break dancing and other street dance styles with a touch of flamboyance, creating a unique style that captivated audiences all over the world.|
|Innovative moves||MC Hammer’s dance moves were creative and eye-catching. He was famous for his signature move, the Hammer Dance, which involved rapid, precise foot movements and body popping. He also used props such as giant clocks and oversized pants to add flair to his performances.|
|Theatricality||MC Hammer’s performances were more than just dance routines – they were full-blown shows. He would often bring actors, dancers, and other performers onto the stage with him, creating a spectacle that was both visual and auditory. He was also known for his flamboyant outfits, which often included brightly colored parachute pants.|
|Crossover appeal||MC Hammer was one of the first hip hop dancers to achieve mainstream success. His music and dance moves appealed to a wider audience than just hip hop fans, helping to popularize the genre and paving the way for future generations of hip hop artists to achieve commercial success.|
MC Hammer’s influence on hip hop dance is undeniable. He pushed the boundaries of what was possible within the genre, paving the way for future generations of artists to experiment with new styles and techniques. His innovative choreography, use of props, and theatricality were all groundbreaking, and his crossover appeal helped to bring hip hop to a wider audience. Today, MC Hammer’s legacy lives on through the many dancers and artists he has inspired throughout his career.
8. Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is a rapper, singer and dancer who has had a significant impact on hip hop dance. She is known for her energetic and innovative dance moves that have inspired many people around the world. Here are some reasons why Missy Elliott is one of the top 10 most influential hip hop dancers of all time:
1. Creativity and originality: Missy Elliott is known for her unique and captivating dance moves. She has created many of her own dance routines, which are often featured in her music videos. Her choreography is unique and creative, often incorporating elements of pop, funk, and breakdancing.
2. Breaking gender stereotypes: Missy Elliott is one of the few female hip hop dancers who have achieved mainstream success. She has broken down gender barriers and inspired many young women to pursue their dreams in the male-dominated world of hip hop dance.
3. Collaboration with top choreographers: Missy Elliott has collaborated with some of the best choreographers in the industry, including Dave Scott and Hi-Hat. Her choreography is often considered ahead of its time and has influenced many other dancers and choreographers.
4. Popularity and cultural influence: Missy Elliott is one of the most successful and influential hip hop dancers of all time. She has won numerous awards, including five Grammy Awards. Her dance moves and music videos have become iconic and inspired countless people around the world to pursue their own passion for hip hop dance.
Missy Elliott’s creativity, originality, breaking of gender stereotypes, collaborations with top choreographers, popularity, and cultural influence have made her one of the most influential hip hop dancers of all time. Her impact on the world of hip hop dance will continue to be felt for many years to come.
9. The JabbaWockeeZ
One of the most iconic hip hop dance crews of all time is The JabbaWockeeZ. This group of masked dancers was formed in 2003 in San Diego, California, and quickly rose to fame after winning the first season of America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008.
Not only did The JabbaWockeeZ impress audiences with their synchronized and innovative dance moves, but they also became known for their signature white masks and gloves, which added an air of mystery and intrigue to their performances.
But what truly sets The JabbaWockeeZ apart is their influence on the hip hop dance community. Their unique style, which combines elements of popping, locking, and breaking, has inspired countless dancers to experiment and push the boundaries of what is possible in hip hop dance.
The JabbaWockeeZ have used their platform to promote diversity and acceptance in the dance world. They often incorporate different styles and cultural influences into their performances, showcasing the beauty and richness of global dance traditions.
It’s no wonder that The JabbaWockeeZ continue to be one of the most beloved and respected hip hop dance crews today. Their impact on the dance world is undeniable, and they have paved the way for future generations of dancers to explore their creativity and express themselves through this vibrant and dynamic art form.
Below is a table summarizing the influence of The JabbaWockeeZ in the hip hop dance world:
|Aspect of Influence||Explanation|
|Innovative Dance Moves||The JabbaWockeeZ are known for their synchronized and unique blend of popping, locking, and breaking. They have inspired countless dancers to experiment and push the boundaries of hip hop dance.|
|Signature Style||The JabbaWockeeZ’s white masks and gloves have become instantly recognizable and add to the mystery and intrigue of their performances.|
|Promoting Diversity||The JabbaWockeeZ often incorporate different styles and cultural influences into their performances, showcasing the beauty and richness of global dance traditions.|
|Winning America’s Best Dance Crew||By winning the first season of America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008, The JabbaWockeeZ were able to gain a massive following and influence the hip hop dance community on a larger scale.|
BTS, also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, is a South Korean boy band that has taken the world by storm with their unique style of hip hop dance. Their high-energy dance routines are a blend of various hip hop sub-genres and incorporate elements of traditional Korean dance as well.
One of the reasons why BTS is so influential is because they have successfully introduced K-pop to Western audiences in a way that no other Korean artist has done before. Their music, style, and dancing have become a global phenomenon, with fans from all over the world admiring their talent and passion.
BTS has a distinct dance style, characterized by powerful and synchronized movements that often involve complex footwork and acrobatic stunts. The group’s main choreographer, Son Sung Deuk, is known for his ability to create dynamic and captivating dance routines that showcase the members’ individual talents as well as their impressive teamwork.
BTS often incorporates storytelling into their dance performances, using their movements to convey emotion and meaning related to the lyrics of their songs. Their performances are a visual spectacle that keeps fans coming back for more.
BTS is one of the most influential hip hop dance groups of all time due to their unique blend of hip hop and traditional Korean dance styles, captivating choreography, and ability to connect with fans on a global scale. Their impact on the world of hip hop dance and music is undeniable, and they continue to inspire fans around the world with their passion, talent, and creativity.
After analyzing and researching the impact of hip hop dance on the industry, it is clear that there have been numerous dancers who have left an indelible mark. Their contributions have shaped the art and culture of hip hop dance, and their influence continues to be felt to this day.
Michael Jackson, arguably the most influential hip hop dancer of all time, revolutionized the way people perceived dance, and paved the way for many artists that followed.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five used their music and high-energy performances to spread awareness about social and political issues in their community. Their legacy has inspired countless artists to use their platform to make a positive difference.
The Lockers brought uniqueness and creativity to their style of dance, inventing many popular moves that are still used today.
Run-DMC popularized hip hop music and culture in mainstream society, and their energetic dance moves were integral to their live performances.
Afrika Bambaataa was a pioneer of the culture of hip hop, and his influence can be seen in the way that hip hop music, dance, and fashion have evolved over the years.
The Rock Steady Crew popularized breakdancing and made it a legitimate form of dance artistry. They also expanded the influence of hip hop beyond the United States.
MC Hammer introduced a new style of hip hop dance with his signature “Hammer Dance” and was one of the first hip hop artists to achieve mainstream commercial success.
Missy Elliott broke down barriers for women in hip hop and dance, while also pushing the boundaries of creativity and artistic expression.
The JabbaWockeeZ, winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, brought a new level of precision and synchronicity to hip hop dance, inspiring many dancers to perfect their craft.
Finally, BTS has brought hip hop dance to a global audience, breaking language barriers and spreading the culture of hip hop to new audiences around the world.
In conclusion, the ten influential hip hop dancers on this list have made significant contributions to the art and culture of hip hop dance, inspiring and influencing countless dancers and artists. Their legacies continue to shape the industry and will undoubtedly impact future generations of hip hop dancers.
What styles of dance are incorporated in hip hop dance?
Hip hop dance incorporates a variety of urban dance styles, including breaking, popping, locking, and street dance.
Who is considered the “King of Pop” and a highly influential hip hop dancer?
Michael Jackson is considered the “King of Pop” and a highly influential hip hop dancer.
What was the significance of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in hip hop dance?
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five pioneered the art of scratching and were one of the first hip hop groups to incorporate socially conscious lyrics in their music.
What dance troupe is credited with creating the “locking” style of hip hop dance?
The Lockers are credited with creating the “locking” style of hip hop dance.
What was the role of Run-DMC in the development of hip hop dance?
Run-DMC helped popularize hip hop music and fashion, and their energetic stage performances were influential in the development of hip hop dance.
Who is known as the “Godfather” of hip hop music and dance?
Afrika Bambaataa is known as the “Godfather” of hip hop music and dance.
What is the significance of The Rock Steady Crew in hip hop dance?
The Rock Steady Crew is one of the oldest and most influential hip hop dance crews, known for their acrobatics and breakdancing skills.
What is MC Hammer’s contribution to hip hop dance?
MC Hammer popularized the “Hammer Dance” and brought hip hop dance into the mainstream with his hit song “U Can’t Touch This.”
What unique style does Missy Elliott bring to hip hop dance?
Missy Elliott is known for her unique, innovative choreography and music videos that incorporate a variety of dance styles.
What makes BTS stand out as a hip hop dance group?
BTS is known for their highly synchronized, energetic dance performances that often incorporate storytelling and social commentary.